Head of Computer Science Mr P Smart
Our intent is to enable students to acquire transferable thinking skills based around logic and algorithmic strategies. Students will develop an understanding of the complex digital world and be able to embrace new technologies in a productive and responsible manner, as well as experiment with a variety of modern programming languages, giving an insight into the programmer’s mind-set. We aim to develop creative and solution driven individuals who are ready for the 21st Century workplace.
In particular our students will:
- Become responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology, who can make informed choices about their use of information technology.
- Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computing, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- Appreciate the relevance of digital literacy in our society and recognise it as an essential tool for learning, communication, finding information and for controlling and understanding their environment.
What is Computer Science?
It is the study of computer hardware and computational systems. Unlike computer engineers, computer scientists deal mostly with software and software systems; this includes their design, development, and application. However, computer science is a diverse field; the required skills are both applicable and in-demand across practically every industry in today's technology-dependent world. As such, the field of computer science covers a range of sub-disciplines including computer theory, hardware systems, software systems, and scientific computing. The course brings together elements of technology, science and creative digital media, providing an insight into the challenge, excitement and reward to be found in these areas.
Why do we study Computer Science?
The continual evolution of technology has seen the world change remarkably. Computational thinking, together with Digital Literacy sits at the forefront of this societal shift and our students need to be empowered to meet this challenge in order to gain productive pathways into employment and beyond.
Programmers have to think logically about a problem. Once you start learning how to code, you stop giving up on other difficult situations in your day-to-day life as well. You start trying over and over again. You become patient because you know there is always a solution. Just like creating a program, to reach the perfect solution you have to run it, and debug it several times before you get the end result you are looking for.
What do we study?
Key Stage 3 provides a platform for the GCSE Computer Science option. This revolves around the four cornerstones of ‘computational thinking.’ Computational thinking involves taking a complex problem and breaking it down into a series of more manageable problems (decomposition). Each of these smaller problems can then be looked at individually, considering how similar problems have been solved previously (pattern recognition) and focusing only on the important details, whilst ignoring irrelevant information (abstraction). Next, simple steps or rules to solve each of the smaller problems can be designed (algorithms) and eventually programmed using Python IDLE (the main programming language we use at school).
At Key Stage 4 we deliver the AQA Computer Science GCSE which includes study of Computational Thinking and Programming Skills (assessing computational thinking, code tracing, problem-solving, programming concepts, algorithms and code design) and Computing Concepts (assessing SQL programming skills, systems architecture, system security, network topology and social engineering). You will also be required to complete a Programming Project which covers programming techniques, analysis, design, development, testing and evaluation.
To view a full summary of our KS3 and KS4 Computer Science curriculum please click here
To view information about Computer Science at the Green School Sixth Form please click here
How do we study Computer Science?
As the aims of our Computer Science curriculum are to equip students with the necessary skills to become independent learners, the teaching style that we adopt is as active and practical as possible. We want to develop computer science skills, information technology skills and digital literacy knowledge in the hope that we will support creative, analytical and problem solving for everyone. We want to provide opportunities for pupils to apply and consolidate their IT capability across all curriculum contexts, not just in their Computer Science lessons. We provide a balance of teacher-led and student-led learning across different digital platforms to support our delivery of the curriculum.We recognise that students will have widely differing experience of computing skill and exposure to technology. This is especially true when some children have access to digital technologies at home, while others do not. We provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability and experience of the child. Our Computer Suites are fully equipped to support students within school, and through our G-Suite for Education platform we are able to provide additional support outside of lessons.
Presentation of Work
The best way to prepare for your Computer Science lessons is to come properly equipped and ready to learn. We expect all students to produce work that reflects their true potential. Students will present typed work, diagrams and graphs, and will be expected to work both individually and in small groups. Each unit will start with a Unit Checklist that outlines the content for the upcoming lessons.
Home LearningHome learning is an integral part of the curriculum, and tasks are aimed to either consolidate knowledge from the lessons or to prepare students for future learning. Students will complete a range of tasks which are shared with them via the Google classroom.
Co - curricular activities
Alongside the co-curricular support and engagement activities we are able to provide within school, the co-curricular vision for Computer Science is to build relationships with the large multi-national companies in our area to provide students with the opportunities to explore what it looks like to pursue a career in technology. We are also in the process of finalising visits by programmers from Imperial University to assist us with our robotics class.
How parents/carers can support their children
You can further assist your son by ensuring that they have access to our Google classroom from home and supporting their interest in the programming side of the subject through websites such as W3schools; GitHub; Codecademy; BBC Bitesize; Khan Academy; Udemy
Here are some great titles that we recommend you read:
- The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder;
- An Eternal Golden Braid by Godel, Escher and Bach
- The Code Book by Simon Singh
- Formative assessment will take place in lessons through discussion, questioning and plenaries.
- Home Learning will help to provide an indication of student understanding that can then be used to inform future planning.
- There are formal examinations at the end of each academic year.
Careers Leading on from Computer Science
- As well as a stepping-stone to further study at A-level, completion of a computer science qualification offers a variety of exciting career pathways. These include, but are not limited to: software development, hardware engineering, network architect, web developer, security analyst and information research scientist.
- The skillset for these careers is challenging. You will need to think both analytically and creatively, be detail-oriented when it comes to troubleshooting problems and be able to communicate with non-technical people in order to assess their needs as clients. The rewards however are immense. Aside from being highly paid, the pervasiveness of computer technology in society means that you, as a professional, will always be in demand, having gained worldwide transferable skills - indeed the world will be your oyster.
- To view more information about our school Careers programme please click here.